BROWNWOOD – October 26, 2018 – James Williamson of Kerrville has been named to Howard Payne University’s Sports Hall of Fame. He is among eight who will be honored during HPU’s Homecoming 2018 festivities, November 2-3. Additional honorees are listed at www.hputx.edu/homecoming.
Williamson and the other honorees will be recognized during the Alumni & Sports Hall of Fame Banquet on Friday, November 2, beginning at 5:45 p.m. The honorees will also be featured in the Homecoming Parade on Saturday, November 3, beginning at 10 a.m. Ticket information for the banquet and a full schedule of the weekend’s events are available online at www.hputx.edu/homecoming.
Williamson graduated from HPU in 1970 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in political science. He was a student in HPU’s Douglas MacArthur Academy of Freedom (now the Guy D. Newman Honors Academy) and was active in student government, serving terms as class president and class treasurer. He was also a Student Supreme Court member and a Democracy in Action committee member, and he represented HPU at the Dallas Council on World Affairs. Additionally, he was listed in the “Who’s Who Among Students in American Colleges and Universities” publication and in the “Outstanding College Athletes of America” publication.
Williamson, a four-year football letterman, was a record-setting punter for the HPU Yellow Jackets. In an era before specialized kickers, Williamson went on to hold Lone Star Conference records in punting in 1966, 1967 and 1968. During his freshman year at HPU, he was named “Texas Punter of the Year” by the Dallas Morning News and in 1966-67 was named the “All-Texas Punter of the Year.” During his senior year in 1969, he had the longest punt in the history of HPU (79 yards). This record was not broken until 2012.
Williamson’s punting average was among the top in the nation every year. He holds HPU’s single-season punting average record of 45.5 yards per punt (58 attempts) set in 1967. He also holds the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics national record for total number of punts (277) and total yardage (11,849).
He signed a free-agent contract with the New Orleans Saints in June 1970. He also played the 1972 season with the Omaha Mustangs, a semi-pro team, booting 13 punts 568 yards, setting a league record with an average of 43.5 yards.
Williamson is a past member of the Guy D. Newman Honors Academy Board of Directors and served as president of HPU’s Alumni Association. He created the James L. Williamson Endowed Scholarship for students in HPU’s School of Business.
“HPU prepared me for future successes by instilling in me a respect for the Constitution, love of our country and honor for our military,” he said. “I learned right from wrong and was taught that work is good and giving is too.”
In addition to a stint as HPU’s vice president for development, Williamson has served many years in the insurance field. He and his wife, Jeanie Lambert Williamson, celebrated 50 years of marriage in May 2018. They have three children and six grandchildren.
Cutline: James Williamson of Kerrville has been named to HPU’s Sports Hall of Fame.